Aggie's Kitchen

A Birthday Celebration! Low Country Boil, Vanilla Cupcakes and other goodies…

My family seems to have birthdays in waves…the first wave starts in January with my grandfather and ends 6 birthdays later at the end of February with my daughter Gina. The next wave is late summer with my brother, my son Sammy, my niece and my dad all within 2 weeks of each other. Yesterday we celebrated Birthday Wave 2 at my house. Unfortunately my dad wasn’t able to come, that is the price of owning a family restaurant, it’s so hard to get time off, but we made sure he got his cupcake sent home to him. This birthday celebration was extra special because it was my adorable niece Chloe’s First Birthday! It was a great afternoon of splashing in the pool, and of course eating.

I’ve been wanting to try Paula Deen’s Low Country Boil for quite some time now. It seemed like a good way to feed a crowd and is fairly easy as far as preparation. We all love shrimp (except my mom, but she wasn’t able to come either) and really enjoyed this. I can’t wait to make it again! You can find the recipe in her original Lady and Sons cookbook as well as her Paula Deen Celebrates cookbook.

Low Country Boil
Recipe by Paula Dean

1/4 lb fully cooked smoked sausage per person, cut into 1″ pieces (I used Turkey Kielbasa)
1/4 cup Old Bay seasoning, or more to taste
2 small new potatoes per person
1 ear fresh corn per person, shucked, silked and broken in half
1/2 pound large fresh shrimp per person, shell on (I used frozen shrimp and they were great!)

Fill a LARGE pot (I had to use 2 pots – I’m in the market for a very large pot now!) with enough water to cover all of the ingredients. Add the sausage and Old Bay seasoning and allow to boil for about 20 minutes so that the sausage can flavor the water. Taste, and add more Old Bay if you think you need more. Add the potatoes and boil for about 15 minutes. Add the corn and boil about 10 minutes more. Finally add the shrimp and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Taste a shrimp and if it is cooked through, drain immediately and serve on an oversize platter.

We served ours with cocktail sauce and tartar sauce.

In addition to the shrimp boil, my sister brought some delicious salads – a guacamole salad and a honey mustard coleslaw…I am trying to get the recipes from her so I can share those. We also had the Three Bean Salad I made the night before.

I made some ribs too…I’m pretty novice to making ribs, this is my third time. Before making them the first time, I did a lot of research on the web to learn different techniques. I settled on slow cooking them in the oven and then finishing them off on the grill. I put a rub on them made of chili powders, cumin, garlic, salt and pepper, place them on a rack in a roasting pan and pour a bottle of beer in the pan. I seal them tight with aluminum foil, then bake at 225 for about 2 hours. I then take them out of the oven and let them sit for a while longer in the sealed pan. When we are ready to throw them on the grill, I baste them liberally with our favorite BBQ sauce then grill both sides till the sauce caramelizes. They have come out great every time but I want to hear about your favorite way to make ribs!

Of course, we needed some cupcakes to finish off our celebration. I chose a simple Vanilla Cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food and topped it with Cinnamon Vanilla frosting. I decorated using sugar crystals…Orange and Blue for Saturday’s Gator victory and a pretty Purple for our sweet Chloe!

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17 comments on “A Birthday Celebration! Low Country Boil, Vanilla Cupcakes and other goodies…”

  1. Aggie,
    Happy Birthday to all!!! What a yummy birthday feast. I haven’t tried the Low Country Boil but now I want to. I make my ribs very similar to you. I use either St Louis style or Baby Backs and I slow roast them at 350 degrees for about 3 hours or until tender. I use Grill Mates Pork Rub and put them on a rack over water and cover with foil just like you do. I also then finsh them off on the grill with barbeque sauce. They turn out so tender this way. Give Sammy a birthday kiss from us!!!

  2. I would load my plate up with ribs and cupcakes!!! LOL!

  3. The low boil looks so good. I will have to try that the next time I have a lot of company. Your ribs look good too! We have a smoker so my husband (who is the smoke expert) cooks them for about 4 to 6hours in the smoker. We actually had some beef ones today and I will be posting a picture.
    The kids are real cuties!

  4. Happy birthday to all the birthdays that fell in the wave! How fun does the Country Boil look. I remember seeing Paula cook it up on her show.

    I didn’t know your family had a restaurant. That must be a lot of work, but fun. Lots of good free food!

    Have a good night!

  5. Oh wow, the boil looks fantastic! I love how the littlest one in the pic is sitting there so patiently while eyeballing the cupcakes! I love it the look on the baby’s face!

  6. Everything looks so good. I could eat at least three of those vanilla cupcakes.

  7. You are making me miss the South with all this talk of Paula Deen and low country boil! It looks fabulous and what a great birthday celebration. The 3-bean salad looks wonderful as well!

  8. What a darling family you have! Happy Birthday to all and what a great dinner and cupcake.

  9. Looks like the perfect birthday menu!!

  10. Happy Birthday,Chloe…

    What a feast! everything looks so good!

    Coming from a large family we have those waves too 😉

  11. Everything looks absolutely delicious! Some Paula Deen recipes scare me, but this one looks like a winner. Old Bay & Shrimp…not much better than that!

  12. Aggie, This looks like a great meal for any celebration, I often thought of making this too, but never have. Too bad Mom and Dad missed out, I would have been available!! 🙂

  13. Wow! What a feast! That low boil looks terrific, and those ribs — yum! I usually make ribs by boiling off some of the fat first, then slow cooking them either in the oven or on the grill. I’m looking forward to reading how others prepare ribs, too! Happy birthday to all!

  14. For some reason ‘low boil’ makes me laugh! I have never tried one, how very Southern of you! It actually really looks good! Happy Birthday {I left and came back to comment, now I can’t remember who’s it was if it was yours, hubby’s or kid’s, but hope it was a good one!}

    Good luck in the RFJ, I keep thinking I am going to enter someday…

  15. Thanks for the nice comments everyone!! What’s funny is…I’m not really sure what “Low Country” is? I’m not a Southern gal…although I have lived in FL for most of my life. So if anyone can explain….please do!

  16. That country boil looks good! Simple vanilla cupcakes are always welcome. It sounds like it was a great party!

  17. Looks like you had a wonderful birthday feast! Everything looks so yummy!